If you live in a shady or wooded area like me, you may wonder about the best plants for hanging baskets in the shade. Thankfully, there are tons of gorgeous plants to choose from that thrive away from direct sunlight, including lovely hanging basket flowers for shade.
These options range from delicate creeping thyme to showy bleeding hearts and tropical caladiums.
- 15 Stunning Best Plants for Hanging Baskets In Shade
- 1. Begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
- 2. Ferns (Pteridophyta)
- 3. Toad Lillies (Tricyrtis formosana)
- 4. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis)
- 5. Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
- 6. Monkey Flowers (Mimulus ringens)
- 7. Creeping Mint (Meehania cordata)
- 8. Hostas (Hosta spp.)
- 9. Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense)
- 10. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
- 11. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- 12. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)
- 13. Trailing Lobelia (Loberlia erinus)
- 14. Coral Bells (Huecheras spp.)
- 15. Caladium (Caladium x hortulanum)
- What Are Your Best Plants for Hanging Baskets In Shade?
15 Stunning Best Plants for Hanging Baskets In Shade
So, the real struggle isn’t finding shade-loving plants but picking which beauties to hang in your basket. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’m sharing my 15 favorite shade plants for hanging baskets and hanging basket flowers for shade.
1. Begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
Many begonia cultivars grow in an arching pattern that suits hanging baskets perfectly. They tolerate partially shady spots very well. And multiple begonia varieties will bloom all summer.
This gorgeous double white begonia is one of my favorites!
2. Ferns (Pteridophyta)
Ferns grow all over my forest, and I adore them. They’re stunning non-flowering plants. Their prevalence in my woods makes me feel like I’m walking through Jurassic Park. (I don’t know your opinion about dinosaurs, but that’s certainly a plus for me!)
Ferns happily grow in full shade, and I’ve transplanted a few from my forest into hanging baskets on my cabin porch. I have a few varieties growing in the woods, but my favorite to pot in my baskets are Boston ferns:
3. Toad Lillies (Tricyrtis formosana)
If you like whimsical, unique flowers, look no further than the toad lily as hanging basket flowers for shade. These little beauties are true lilies and produce colorful, show-stopping bell or star-shaped speckled blooms.
They thrive in full shade and well-drained, moist soil.
4. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis)
Bleeding hearts got named for their gorgeous heart-shaped blooms. They are a fantastic choice for a hanging basket. This graceful plant bears dozens of arched, sloping stems lined with its name-sake flowers.
These beauties do well in full or partial shade. And they generally produce red, pink, purple, or white blooms.
5. Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
A classic, popular bedding plant, impatiens also shine in hanging baskets. With their variety of color options and abundance of delicate blooms, these classic cuties brighten up shaded areas with elegance.
They do prefer partial shade over full shade. And while impatiens will tolerate full shade, you may not see as much blooming or fullness from the plant. Plant them in moist, well-draining soil when the garden soil reaches at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. These are one of the best hanging basket flowers for shade!
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6. Monkey Flowers (Mimulus ringens)
With their cheerful, interestingly shaped blooms, mimulus, aka monkey flowers, are an excellent trailing perennial to add to your hanging baskets. These delightful plants produce orange, red, and yellow speckled and trumpet-shaped flowers.
Place monkey flowers in partial shade for the best blooms. Mimulus does well in moist soil. And mature plants even tolerate a couple of inches of standing water.
7. Creeping Mint (Meehania cordata)
If you’re like me and love herb gardens, you’ll want to add trailing mint to your shaded baskets. I always grow them in baskets on my porch so I can easily pinch off a couple of sprigs for cooking and teas.
Creeping mint will also look gorgeous in a hanging basket with its delicate tendrils of stems and tiny leaflets. They are wonderfully aromatic, thrive in partial or full-shade, and produce the most beautiful little purple flowers.
8. Hostas (Hosta spp.)
With their wide, lovely green, and whitish-yellow striped leaves, hostas provide balance and serenity against brighter, more colorful plants.
They’re champions of thriving in full shade. And they bloom white or lilac flowers from their upright stalks, called scapes. They grow well in filtered to full shade and thrive in humus-rich, moist soil.
9. Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense)
An evergreen shrub with varieties that display stunning red and purple leaves, loropetalums provide year-round elegance to your hanging basket garden. They bloom beautiful pink or red fringe flowers from late winter to early spring. While you can grow them as hedge shrubs, multiple varieties fare well in hanging baskets in partial shade.
Loropetalums grow best in moist, well-draining, slightly acidic (4.0 to 6.5 pH) soil. Once well established, they tend to be drought-resistant. And they are hardy plants overall. I love keeping these in my basket garden for that pop of year-round deep red to purple leaves.
10. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
I always find that trailing plants with small delicate leaves and blooms like this thyme plant give a magical, mythical woodland feeling to a garden. This shade-tolerant plant is perfect for hanging baskets. It has a beautiful and delicate, vine-like stem and soft lilac flowers. I also love the edible and tiny leaves!
I love using my thyme for teas and in savory dishes. I just found some chicken of the woods mushrooms in my forest (score!) and cooked it with vegan butter, garlic, and fresh sprigs of my thyme plant – so delicious!
11. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
If you’re going for a dreamy cottage vibe for your garden, it’s hard to pass up on growing English ivy in hanging baskets. They thrive in the shade and happily send out their lovely tendrils to curl around a porch railing or post.
A note about English ivy! English ivy can choke out other plants pretty quickly, so ensure they get well contained in their baskets.
12. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)
With its thick vines of yellow-green button-like trailing foliage, creeping Jenny is one of my favorite ornamentals on this list. It works wonderfully as a stand-alone in a basket or a layered assortment. It may struggle in full shade, so make sure this cascading beauty grows in only partial shade.
I think this plant looks gorgeous against weathered barn wood and stone materials. We’re building a barn from reclaimed lumber, and I’m 100% planning on hanging creeping Jenny in baskets under the windows.
And speaking of stone, if you have any retaining walls that need beautifying with trailing plants like creeping Jenny, check out our article on 13 Stunning Cascading Plants for Retaining Walls and Hanging Baskets!
13. Trailing Lobelia (Loberlia erinus)
Trailing lobelia, particularly the true blue-flowered variety, is a beloved favorite for growing in hanging baskets. Growing their delicate blue flowers over the sides of the basket, they produce a show-stopping display of color and gracefulness.
They grow well with morning sun and afternoon shade. They don’t tolerate cold well, so expect these lovelies to start dying back in the fall outside of Mediterranean climates. These are gorgeous hanging basket flowers for shade!
14. Coral Bells (Huecheras spp.)
Another stunning evergreen pick, coral bells are shade-tolerant and will add texture and vibrant foliage to your hanging basket garden. Their leaves are round and sculpted along the edges, and the color of the foliage changes with the season.
Foliage colors vary from soft red, gold, purple, green, peach, and yellow. Colors tend to darken throughout the season, depending upon the variety. So, if you’re looking for a dynamic plant to add to your mix, coral bells are an excellent choice.
15. Caladium (Caladium x hortulanum)
Caladiums add a tropical feel to basket gardens. They feature large, striking striped, and speckled red, green, pink, and white leaves. The attraction of this plant is its vibrant, robust, and breathtaking foliage.
As a plant native to the dense tropics of the Amazon River basin, they do best with lots of heat and moisture but indirect sunlight.
What Are Your Best Plants for Hanging Baskets In Shade?
And voila – a diverse list of plants perfect for a shaded or semi-shaded hanging basket garden! Remember when choosing your plants to accommodate not only shade requirements! Also, consider the soil type and temperature needs of each plant.
For example, the caladiums are a bit needier and thrive on lots of moisture and heat, while the hardy evergreen loropetalums are more cold and drought-tolerant.
Did you see a new and fascinating plant on this list? Or an old favorite? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading. And happy gardening!